Last week, KingSett Capital submitted a Zoning By-law Amendment application to the City of Toronto seeking to redevelop a portion of the prominent intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets, the northwest corner of which is currently home to a 1980s office complex known as Atrium on Bay. The proposal introduces a 34-storey tower with 317 new purpose-built rental units to the heart of downtown.

Looking southwest to the residential tower expansion of the Atrium on Bay, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for KingSett Capital

Occupying the majority of the block between Bay and Yonge, and Dundas and Edward streets, the Atrium on Bay includes a 2-storey podium and volumes of 9, 13, and 14 storeys. It features a distinctive continuous internal atrium space and retail uses at street and concourse levels, as well as direct connections to the underground pedestrian PATH system, the Eaton Centre, and Dundas subway station.

The 1.2-hectare site is municipally known as 595 Bay St, 304 – 316 Yonge St, and 14 – 40 Dundas St W, image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

Looking north to the 114 metre-high proposal. A portion of the tower cantilevers over the existing media tower to the south, image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

The proposal, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects with Adamson Associates Architects as Architect of Record, removes and replaces the northeastern portion of the existing building at 595 Bay Street with a 34-storey mixed-use addition consisting of a 2-storey base building and a 32-storey residential tower above.  

The plan results in a total gross floor area of 125,967m², including 81,477m² of retained office GFA, 21,974m² of residential GFA and 22,516m² of retail GFA, for a total density of 10 FSI.

South Elevation, image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

The design brief asserts that the new base building design would improve the existing sub-grade and ground levels to achieve better connectivity and accessibility from the street and animate the public realm along Yonge and Edward streets by introducing new active ground floor uses through reconfigured retail/commercial space and connections, including reworked access to Dundas subway station. The reconfigured ground floor introduces a new residential lobby accessed from Edward Street, and new retail spaces along Yonge and Edward streets, while accommodating a new internalized loading area that would serve the residential area. The 2nd floor changes would accommodate retail.

Above the base, the third storey of the building (the first storey of the tower) is inset from the tower floor plate above, emphasizing the distinction between the base and the tower and reinforcing the low-rise commercial character of two-storey streetwall along Yonge Street to the north and south. These step-backs allow for a large outdoor amenity terrace that wraps around the Yonge and Edward street frontages and above the western portion of the base building.

Floor Plan: Level 24-33, image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

Above the podium, the tower rises to 34 storeys. It is generally rectilinear in plan and massing — with a floor plate of 651m² at Levels 4 to 23 — and expands to 870 m² at level 24 over the existing billboard sign to the south from floors 24 to 34. The cantilevered portion extends 9.24 metres to the south and allows for a clearance of 15m above the top of the media tower at 304-306 Yonge Street. The tower is articulated with a robust grid pattern of vertical and horizontal columns that continue through the length of the tower, and complements the grid-like patterned windows of the Atrium on Bay complex.

The proposal yields a total of 317 new dwelling units, including 77 bachelors (24 %), 159 one-bedrooms (50%), 50 two-bedrooms (16%), and 31 three-bedroom (10%) units.

The level 3 residential terrace includes a large seating area with shade trees to the west and along the Edward street frontage, image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

A total of 1,502 m² of amenity space is proposed, in nearly equal indoor and outdoor parts. The majority is located on Level 3 and consists of an entertainment room, gym, live-work area, a games room, and a dog spa. It is anchored by the aforementioned terrace that wraps the Yonge and Edward Street frontages and acts as a physical buffer between the new residential tower and the existing-to-remain office tower to the west. ‘Common rooms’ are scattered across various floors. At the top of the building is an indoor and contiguous outdoor amenity terrace that faces south towards the Downtown core, offering views along the Yonge Street corridor.

Vehicular access for the existing uses and new building will continue to be provided from Edward Street. The existing shared below-grade parking garage on the site will also serve the proposed new residential and commercial uses. No additional parking spaces are proposed.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Adamson Associates Architects, Aercoustics Engineering Ltd, Bousfields, Entuitive, Ferris + Associates Inc., Grounded Engineering Inc., Hariri Pontarini Architects